Thursday, October 30, 2014

On the Air: Lucha Underground (2014)

Vince McMahon thinks WWE has no competition. Hollywood producers Mark Burnett (Survivor, "Son of God") and Robert Rodriguez ("Sin City: A Dame to Kill For", From Dusk 'Til Dawn) intend to prove him wrong once and for all.

Rodriguez's El Rey Network, launched late last year, is home to a new wrestling promotion, a collaboration with Mexico's AAA promotion. Lucha Underground bowed Wednesday night, 3 weeks later than originally planned, for reasons known only to Rodriguez and his partners at El Rey. Suffice to say, the opener offers some promise of things to come.

It's been described as a cross between pro wrestling, as we know it, and the movie, "Fight Club", especially with the way the show is filmed, rather than videotaped, in some segments. Yes, there is a master villain, in figurehead owner Dario Cueto, who showed his true colors in the climax to the opener. The roster is filled mostly with AAA wrestlers from Mexico, including Blue Demon, Jr., and some names familiar to American audiences, including Chavo Guerrero, Jr., whose resume includes stops at WCW, WWE, & TNA, as well as Puerto Rico, carrying on the family tradition. Johnny Mundo is the former John Morrison (real name: John Hennegan), who spent nearly a decade with WWE before being released in 2011. While it's claimed that he hadn't wrestled in 3 years, that isn't true. He'd worked some indies in his native California, including Family Wrestling Entertainment, which also boasts play-by-play announcer and former wrestler Matt Striker (another WWE alum) on their roster as well. Striker is paired with Vampiro, unrecognizable with a shaved head and no makeup from his days with WCW and the ill-fated Wrestling Society X.

Following is a brief trailer, narrated by former WCW & TNA star Konnan, with some comments from Mundo.

Episodes were taped weeks in advance, much like TNA & Ring of Honor currently do, and others before them. That's not always a winning proposition, especially in this era, when fans can hunt for "spoilers" online before the show airs.

Fortunately, El Rey has seen fit to air the series twice on Wednesdays, at 8 & 11 (ET), the better for folks to catch the show later in the evening if they've got other plans and can't DVR.

Rating: A-.

No comments: